Anything on Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Andrew K. Groves grovesa at
Mon Aug 14 20:47:08 EST 1995

In article <Pine.SUN.3.91.950814190601.15513A-100000 at>, Betty
Martini <betty at> wrote:

> You asked for references.  I gave you references on IGF which supports 
> that the insulin growth factor is the regulator of cancer.

I'm sorry, those references say no such thing. What do you mean by "the
insulin growth factor is the regulator of cancer"? Do you mean that no
other growth factor is implicated in cancer? That is simply not true. In
one of your previous posts, you said a great deal about insulin-like
growth factors (not, incidentally "the insulin growth factor"), and
attributed things to them that have little basis in fact.

The reason I take issue with you has very little to do with BST, but
rather the fact that you are taking other people's work out of context and
using it to support ideas that are extremely questionable, such as the one
I quote above. If I were one of the researchers concerned, I would be
extremely upset if my work was being used to suggest, as you suggested,

"IGF, the powerful growth factor, lights the fuse.  IGF releases those 
controls.  When scientists look closely at cancers they see enormous 
amounts of IGF.  I believe that IGF initiates the process of the 
enormous replication of cancerous cells.  IGF then continues to 
aid in the rapid growth of that tumor."

> You asked for references on IGF and they didn't seem to satisfy you.  Are 
> you saying - "No evidence will satisfy me"?  If you're not interested in 
> this discussion then go to something else but don't prevent the public 
> from being informed. 

My concern is that you are *not* informing the public - rather, I would
suggest that you are muddying an already complex field by making
unsubstantive claims. I am not suggesting for a moment that you are doing
this deliberately. I just think it is dangerous to make sweeping
statements about things that one is not absolutely sure of.

> It just happened that before this subject ever appeared in this newsgroup 
> I had been discussing it.  You see, they said that BST was not active - 
> after all, they gave it to dwarfs in the 50's.  We decided to go back to 
> the 50's and find out what happened to the dwarfs who used BST.  They got 
> this disease and died.  Robert Cohen said - and now we could see it in 
> the population.  The next day a note appeared in this newsgroup asking 
> about this disease!  

> Many times I could have added to the discussions.  They were talking 
> about body builders using this stuff.  They already did by injecting 
> themselves - they got large areas of necrosis in their thighs.  I didn't 
> add that or somebody might have wanted references for that too.

This again illustrates both my point. What is causing the necrosis? You
have no idea - you assume it is BST. What caused the subjects in the 50s
to die? Again, you have no idea, but assume it was BST. I don't know
either (although in the case of the growth hormone experiments, the
evidence would suggest a prion disease) - but I am not jumping to
over-zealous conclusions.

Andy Groves
Division of Biology, 216-76
California Institute of Technology

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